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September 29, 2004 - Image 4

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, August 29, 2004

OPINION

U 420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
Aw&tthedcay@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority
of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
" GI can apologize
for the information
that turned out to be
wrong, but I can't,
sincerely at least,
apologize for
removing Saddam."
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, address-
ing a crowd concerning the war in Iraq, as
reported yesterday by The New York Times.

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Iraqi illusions
SUHAEL MOMIN AN ALTERNATIVE SPIN
Iraq, as anyone who waver, that invading Iraq made America Ultimately, the American people deserve a
watches television safer. The problem with this, unfortunately, realistic assessment of the war and pragmat-
or reads the paper is that no evidence can be amassed to support ic prescription for dealing with Iraq. Recent-
knows, has become the the claim. The administration's first asser- ly, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
main issue in the com- tion - Iraq had illegal weapons of mass hinted that partial elections - elections that
ing presidential election. destruction - has fizzled out. The second only involve the 70 to 80 percent of Iraqis in
Electoral politics, howev- - Iraq had ties to al-Qaida - has been dis- areas that can be secured - were a viable
er, should not justify the credited by the Central Intelligence Agency. solution. While this plan is more realistic
extent to which President Paradoxically, many signs indicate that the in that it addresses the security crisis on
Bush is misconstruing war in Iraq has made the United States less the ground, it is nonetheless fatally flawed.
Iraq to his benefit. The secure. It is now public knowledge that ter- Because a government that is not elected by
absurdly optimistic version of reality in Iraq ror cells are now operating openly out of all Iraqis will not be viewed as legitimate by
which Bush touts at campaign events paints Iraq; a whole new generation, angry about all Iraqis, the chance of establishing a long-
a far-too-rosy picture that fails to grapple the American occupation of Iraq, has been lasting democratic tradition is minimal. The
with the current crisis. born. Furthermore, considering that one Bush administration needs to quit baiting
As part of his re-election campaign, Bush of al-Qaida's original grievances was that the American people with inspiring oratory
has made two core claims about Iraq: First American troops were stationed at a base about Iraqi democracy. It needs to explain,
and foremost, he has claimed that deposing in Saudi Arabia, what implication can the as clearly as possible, what journalists and
Saddam Hussein has made America safer. Iraq war have? Invading, then stationing editorial pages have been saying: Iraq is a
From the time it proposed the Iraq war, the troops in Iraq may have simply reinforced mess. It then needs to launch a plan to win
Bush team has attempted to link Hussein, al- the twisted logic behind al-Qaida's militant desperately needed peace, so that the even-
Qaida, Sept. 11 and Iraq together as branches anti-Americanism. tual aspiration of holding elections can be
of the same interrelated problem. If one is to Last week, when Bush made a joint entertained.
believe the administration, the war in Iraq is appearance with interim Iraqi Prime Minis- Until the election, unfortunately, the Bush
nothing more than a logical extension of the ter lyad Allawi, both were exuberant about administration will continue to spew rheto-
greater "War on Terror." Thus, by pursuing the prospects for thriving, prosperous Iraq. ric and take little decisive policy action.
the war on terror, Bush has made the United The two, however, presented a picture that, Sen. John Kerry, his Democratic challenger,
States more secure. Secondly, Bush has gone as many have pointed out, fails to account should take advantage of this, and focus the
on to claim that Iraq, within a short amount for the reality faced by American troops last few weeks of the campaign on reveal-
of time, will take its place among the world's and Iraqi civilians on the ground. The insur- ing the wanton differences between what
respected democracies. If Iraq progresses as gency has not been tamed, the economy is Bush says about Iraq and what actually hap-
Bush hopes it will, Iraqis will go to the polls not on its feet and electricity and sanitation pens there. Whether he wins or loses, Kerry
by early 2005 to select their first popularly are still spotty. Kidnapping and beheadings would do the American people a service by
elected government in decades. Unfortu- occur each week. A recent CIA report, the igniting a factually-oriented public discus-
nately, while Bush presents these two con- National Intelligence Estimate, assessed sion over the current situation in Iraq.
tentions as unshakable truth, reality dictates best- and worst case scenarios for Iraq. At
otherwise: The first is at best debatable, and best, it predicted tenuous stability - not a
the second is unequivocally false. liberal democracy with free and fair elec- Momin can be reached
The administration has argued, without tions - andat worst, civil war. at snomin@umich.edu.
Building up
ELLIOTT MALLEN IRRATIONAL EXUBERANC'
t sounds like a Disney proposal (fortunately) makes it more difficult to remains scarce. This would encourage further
movie. Evil, greedy build subdivisions, meaning that projects like economic segregation of Ann Arbor, resulting in
developers are trying this condo are necessary in order to allow Ann an environment in which only the very affluent
to sweep in and destroy the Arbor to grow. can live in the quaint neighborhoods of central
quaint charm ofKerrytown This new housing located in the heart of Ann Ann Arbor, while the mere middle class lives
by demolishing a Greek Arbor will increase the population density of in surrounding subdivisions. The poor are in
Orthodox church and a' the city, concentrating residents in one build- an even worse situation, relegated to apartment
few surrounding houses to ing instead of spreading them out across the complexes in the most remote regions farthest
build two monolithic high- suburbs. The rise in density will reinforce the from the city itself. Neighborhood organiza-
rise condominiums. Fortu- pedestrian-friendly environment, as the new tions run counter to the romantic ideal of the
nately, local residents are residents will be able to walk to Kerrytown and close-knit little guys who band together to fight
banding together under the leadership of a hero- the Main Street shopping area. This will dis- the domineering elite. In reality, they're striving
ic everyman played by Tom Hanks to fight the courage the growth of car-oriented strip malls to keep downtown Ann Arbor an insulated city
powerful architects in an effort to save their his- and superstores that lie on the outskirts, help- for the affluent.
toric, tight-knit community from the destructive ing to keep the city center alive. Ann Arbor can Granted, this condo is not the ideal propos-
modernization of urban development. Against grow into a vibrant, urban city instead of a flat, al. For one, these high-rises will do nothing to
all odds, these grassroots regular folk managed sprawling mess that is an all-too-common sight alleviate the dire low-income housing situation.
to get the proposal tabled last Tuesday, forcing in southeast Michigan. Also, they don't fit into the master plan that calls
the planners to retreat back to their sinister lair Neighborhood organizations like the Qld for gradually raising building heights, starting
in order to revamp their monstrosity to make it Fourth Ward Association are doing their best with the city center. A better idea would be to
more community-friendly. It's easy to imagine to turn Ann Arbor into this suburban waste- consistently elevate all buildings downtown
a John Williams-scored scene depicting the dis- land by opposing projects like the condos. The to more modest heights of five or six stories
traught elite sulking dejectedly out of the City Old Fourth Ward Association, which is made instead of constructing a pair of massive towers
Council chambers while the common people up of permanent residents living downtown that don't mesh well with their architectural sur-
have a jubilant, yet down-to-earth celebration north of Huron Street and south of the Huron roundings. Condos don't directly help students
in the streets. River, opposes the new condos because they beyond lowering property values (which lower
It's all too easy to get caught up in the roman- will supposedly destroy the charm of the his- rent). However, this type of centralized upward
tic fantasy of the small, folksy community toric neighborhood. In actuality, the new con- expansion is better than none at all. Old Fourth
warding off the malicious urban developers. dos will increase the supply of housing on the Ward Association president Chris Crockett
The truth is, projects such as this are necessary 'north side of town, which will lower property declared that "We want this project to die and
if the city is to grow sustainably. The homeown- values in the area. Because these homeown- go away," suggesting that doing nothing at all
ers associations' not-in-my-backyard opposition ers' greatest assets are their pleasant two-story to increase housing inside Ann Arbor is better
will only prevent Ann Arbor from becoming a homes, they'll do anything to make sure their than this project.
truly urban city. values remain as high as humanly possible. Ann Arbor needs these towers. The homeown-
While a condo complex featuring a nine- and There is a desperate shortage of housing in Ann ers who want to see them go away are concerned
a 14-story tower may seem out of place, the Arbor, and those with homes are reaping the solely with their own property values and fail to
alternatives are much less desirable. Vertical benefits. Doing anything to alleviate this crisis see the necessity of upward expansion. While
expansion is preferable to horizontal, sprawl- will necessarily lower the demand for housing, condo complexes may seem to appeal exclusively
inducing expansion that is becoming the stan- bringing down property values and angering to the affluent, it is actually the current homeown-
dard. Ann Arbor will be much healthier with homeowners. ers who want to keep Ann Arbor a prohibitively
150 families living on top of a couple lots within This all means that members of these asso- costly enclave for the wealthy.
walking distance of downtown stores than with ciations would favor putting new housing off
150 families living in a subdivision on the out- in the suburbs, where it'd be remote enough to Mallen can be reached
skirts of town. The recently passed Greenbelt ensure that affordable housing in the city center at emmallen@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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01

U' officials urge all
students to register and vote
TO THE DAILY:
In his 1906 Address to the Nation, W.E.B. Du
Bois observed that "with the right to vote goes
everything."
We agree most wholeheartedly. The power
and right to vote is a bedrock element of engage-

Your Vote volunteers registered nearly 7,000
individuals, placing the University in the top
three campuses nationwide for new voter regis-
trations. Their ambitious goal this year is to reg-
ister more than double that number of voters.
As we saw in the 2000 election, every vote
counts. Make sure that includes you!
Mary Sue Coleman
University president

"anti-American," and questions his patriotism,
and dammit, that pisses me off. Pointing out a
perceived flaw in our country is not anti-Ameri-
can. Pointing out several perceived flaws in our
country is also not anti-American. Stating that,
perhaps, another country has a system of deal-
ing with X or Y that is more effective than ours
is not anti-American, and even doing all this in
a time of war is not anti-American. Moore is a
citizen of the United States, who is exercising

*---4-' - .1

7 77'4:7

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